Writing Fiction Reviews

Writing Fiction Reviews
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Writing Fiction Reviews guides your students step by step through the process of writing effective reviews of literature. Instructions, activities, examples, videos, interactives, and downloads help students learn new skills for analyzing stories and writing about them. You can also present this unit right from your interactive whiteboard.

First students warm up by thinking about their own character traits and then analyzing the traits of a character from a favorite book or story. Then students read sample paragraph and essay reviews about the classic novel Shiloh. After responding to the reading, students are ready to write their own responses to a book or short story:

  • Prewriting activities help students choose a favorite book or story, gather key information about it, and analyze the main character. Students also explore the conflict in the story and work toward understanding the theme.
  • Writing activities help students write a beginning that grabs the reader's interest, names the story or book and the author, and gives a focus statement for the review. The middle paragraphs describe the events in the story, supporting the focus of the review with evidence from the literature. The ending paragraph thoughtfully wraps up the review without spoiling the story for other readers.
  • Revising activities help students correctly cite evidence, using paraphrasing and quoting. Students also learn to get a peer review and use a checklist to improve their reviews.
  • Editing activities help students use active, present-tense verbs and use italics or underlining for book titles. An editing checklist lists common errors for students to correct.
  • Publishing activities help students create a clean final copy of their reviews and reflect on what they have learned.

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